Black Rainbow


“the gradual manoeuvre from manic energy to questioning quiet, and the handling of large orchestral forces, was skillfully done.”
Birmingham Post

Duration 11’00
Instrumentation: 3(2&3=picc).2(II=corA).3(I=Eb/III=Cbcl).1.Dbn – – timpani – perc(2) – harp – strings (min.
First Performance 23 February 2014, Symphony Hall, Birmingham; Jac van Steen, CBSO Youth Orchestra
Commissioned by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Further Performances
29.11.14 The University of York; The University of York Symphony Orchestra, John Stringer conductor
14.3.15  St John’s Smith Square, London; Kensington Symphony Orchestra, Alice Farnham conductor
30.04.17 Falun, Sweden; Dalasinfoniettan and Wermland Symphony Orchestra, Kristiina Poska conductor
04.05.17 Karlstad, Sweden; Dalasinfoniettan and Wermland Symphony Orchestra, Kristiina Poska conductor
10.06.17 Aldershot UK; Farnborough Symphony Orchestra, Holly Mathieson conductor
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Commissioned by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra for their Youth Orchestra under Jac van Steen, Black Rainbow found its inspiration in the Pageant Amphitheater at the MacDowell Colony, New Hampshire. Built in the 1920’s, this stunning space has an intense, powerful energy. The work is an expression of imagined scenes played out here. A rainbow seen at night can be referred to as a black rainbow; difficult to see, the colors are often hidden; a metaphor for something sought after but impossible to attain, an alluring ongoing search. The first movement is dark and ritualistic. It’s mid summer and the air is tight, uncomfortable. The light grey, purple almost. The second is fleeting, sensual; time is suspended, a dream-like state.